OH rules for concealed carry could soon change

Published: Nov. 20, 2015 at 3:22 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 20, 2015 at 3:50 AM EST
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(WOIO) - Earlier this week, the Ohio House passed a bill that could allow concealed handguns into places where they are currently banned, receiving mixed reaction.

Currently, concealed carry owners in Ohio can't take their handguns into several places, including day cares, public areas of airport terminals and police stations, some government facilities and college campuses.

"These are law-abiding citizens who have passed all of Ohio's requirements. They have received necessary background checks, education and training. They shouldn't have to avoid those areas," said Ronald Lemieux, with the Buckeye Firearm Association.

House Bill 48 would change that. It just passed 63 to 25 on Tuesday.

Lemieux, who supports the bill, says it clears up some confusing language for concealed carry holders.

The legislation would also allow concealed handguns in school safety zones, as long as they're locked in the car.

"This bill would allow parents, or other individuals who have legitimate business at schools, to secure their firearm and their vehicle, and perhaps d rop off lunch or medication to their child," Lemieux explained.

Democratic State Rep Greta Johnson voted against the bill.

"There was no debate allowed on the House floor Tuesday on this particular bill. That's very troubling to me. That allows for the constituents I serve not to be served in that manner," Johnson said.

Public and private colleges and universities would get to decide whether or not to allow concealed handguns on campus. Johnson says they would not be held liable if something goes wrong. She says places, like colleges and day cares, are too vulnerable to allow concealed carry handguns.

"I understand when people say the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. That's why we have such good police officers, such incredible first responders," she said.

The bill's author, Republican State Rep Ron Maag, says it maintains provisions in current law that prevent people with mental illnesses and convicted felons from gaining access to a concealed carry permit.

House Bill 48 heads to the Ohio Senate next.

To get a concealed carry permit in Ohio, you must be at least 21 years old and go through at least eight hours of training with a certified weapons instructor. Then once you fill out an application for a permit, you must submit to a background check.

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